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I was 17 when my son was born to his 26 yr old father. Before he was even born, his dad tried to get custody. After birth, I was repeatedly harassed by his dad. Enough to move to Ohio from Kentucky. My son had several behavioral problems throughout school. I was being called every day to come pick him up from school. I had him a wait list for a behavioral school (he was too young to attend). He was eventually expelled from 2nd grade. That’s when I spanked him. there was bruising but my kids and myself are anemic and bruise quite easily and it lasts for days if not weeks. (have the time I don’t even know where golf-ball size bruises on myself come from). His babysitter’s daughter was bathing him after a bathroom accident and noticed the bruises. Called social services and notified his dad in KY. We went to court for almost a year. took to jury trail (most jurors were teachers, doctors, etc not really my peers). Judge had just got custody of his brother’s kids for domestic violence. I think all this led to my conviction of felony domestic violence. Since then I have had no contact with  my son by choice. He lives with his dad where he has ran away several times and has assaulted both his half sister and step mother enough to be removed from the home for a few months ( I wasn’t even notified about this but told by family member). It’s been almost 10 yrs now. With the felony conviction, I have trouble finding employment (even schools say getting a degree would be almost pointless and a waste of money). I also have trouble finding housing.  I must either go to really bad areas where they don’t care or to private renters that I can’t afford. I have had no trouble with the law since 2005 when I was convicted. I was released from probation in half the time. I think if my conviction was sealed or expunged I could provide better for my family that I have now.

User story by Lisa in Ohio

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